You Can’t Eat a View


That’s what my mom said. Brochview,
where I grew up. Halfway up the steepest hill,
blattered by sea gales, penned in by nosy sheep,
with salt-crust windows that eyed that broch
in all its solid, blocked squatness.

Smug old pile of stone is what it was.

And I a weaver’s daughter, and holding
the requisite ever-knitting mother. Tourists
had expectations of me – oh my days just gazing
at the cliffs and contours of that island
that belonged to that broch.

We all belonged to that broch.

Sure enough, a view fills bellies not at all.
The bank took the view and the house away,
though I’d already walked out of shot, long gone
somewhere less picturesque. Still, if I’d known
when I left I’d never look back,

I might’ve stopped at a window one last time.

Author note: Brochview was the name of the house I grew up in,
named after its unimpeded view of the Mousa Broch in Shetland.

About the contributor

Maxine Rose Munro is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. After spending the first eighteen years of her life exclusively on the islands, without even a small break for the holidays, the culture shock experienced on eventually seeing the wider world rocked her to her core and is still rocking some decades later. She is widely published in print and online, and was voted Ink, Sweat and Tears pick of the month in July. She has also publishes poetry in her native Shetlandic Scots. Find her here

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